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Daytona Beach Dog Bite Attorney

Pursue Compensation with an Award-Winning Firm

Animal attacks can lead to some of the most gruesome and lasting injuries of an accident, especially when children are involved. Unfortunately, children are involved in a large percentage of these cases, leaving their parents scrambling to get them the medical care they deserve.

If you or your child have been injured in an animal attack, it is important to understand your rights and your options for pursuing compensation for your family’s medical bills, pain and suffering and extended or future care. At Politis & Matovina, P.A., our staff offers personalized guidance to animal attack victims. With nearly decades of collective experience, we have the knowledge needed to help you pursue compensation for your losses as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Contact Politis & Matovina, P.A. to learn more about your case. Since 1993, we have obtained more than $200 million in verdicts and settlements.

Responsibilities of Pet Owners in Florida

Understanding your family’s rights following an animal attack can be a difficult task. In many situations, negligent owners may be held responsible for injuries inflicted by their pets – state and federal law requires pet owners to protect the public from their animals. Under these laws, victims of animal attacks have the right to pursue compensation for their losses.

In some cases, your claim to compensation may be reduced if you were careless or negligent. For example, if you were trespassing or wandered onto private property, the amount you may be owed may be reduced by the percentage that the injury is perceived to be your fault.

Understanding Florida Dog Bite Statute

The state of Florida follows what is known as “strict liability” when it comes to dog bite laws. Under strict liability rules, dog owners are nearly always responsible when their dogs bite another person. The victim does not need to prove that the owner had any prior knowledge that the dog might bite in order to seek compensation for his or her damages.

According to Florida’s dog bite statute (FLSA 767.04), dog owners are liable for the harm their pets cause when:

  • The dog bites someone
  • The victim was lawfully on private property or in a public space at the time he/she was bitten

Note that the law only covers incidents in which a person is actually bitten. People who are attacked by a dog but not bitten (e.g. knocked down, scratched, etc.) may still pursue compensation from the owner of the dog, but they will need to prove that the owner was somehow negligent, which led to the incident. An owner may be considered negligent if he or she failed to use “reasonable care;” for example, if the owner allowed the dog to run loose in a public park or did not keep the dog confined in a house or yard.

Exceptions & Defenses in Dog Bite Cases

Generally speaking, the only exceptions to the strict liability dog bite rule are:

  • When the victim was trespassing on private property
  • When the dog in question was a military or police dog in the line of duty

The dog owner may have a valid defense if you were unlawfully on his or her property at the time you were bitten, even if you unknowingly trespassed.

A dog owner may also raise the defense of comparative negligence. Under this defense, the owner may argue that the victim was partially at fault because the victim was acting negligently. For example, if the dog owner successfully argues that the victim provoked the dog, this could limit the total compensation the victim may recover.

Statute of Limitations on Dog Bite Injury Claims in Florida

As with all personal injury claims, Florida imposes a statute of limitations, or time limit, on dog bite injury claims. Typically, you only have four years from the date of the dog bite to bring a claim. If you do not bring your dog bite injury claim within the statute of limitations, your case will most likely be thrown out.

Because of this, it is extremely important that you do not delay in contacting an experienced dog bite attorney about your potential right to compensation. The sooner you contact us about your situation, the sooner we can begin investigating the incident and building a solid case on your behalf.

Contact an Experienced Daytona Beach Dog Bites Lawyer!

Our work handling animal attack cases has earned us a reputation for fighting for our clients’ rights. In fact, many of our clients come to us through referrals from friends or other family members. We honor our commitments to our clients and will never back down from high-pressure insurance companies — we will not rest until your family has obtained justice.

If you or a loved one has fallen victim to an animal attack or dog bite, it is important to consult an attorney as quickly as possible. Many families overlook the serious nature of animal attacks and the lasting impact these events can have on a child and the family.

Call (386) 333-6613 for a free case evaluation with our firm. We represent on a contingent fee basis and offer legal services in Spanish, French, Greek, Russian, and English for client convenience.

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